General International Travel Advice
- As a reminder, your US visa is valid for entry only to the United States. If you wish to travel to Canada, Mexico or another country, please contact the embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit to determine documentation requirements.
- For the most accurate information regarding U.S. entry procedures, please see the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's website. There you will find information regarding customs regulations, AVR, Form I-94, the Visa Waiver Program and other useful updates to help you with your travels to the U.S.
- If you travel outside of the U.S., and want to re-enter in F-1 or J-1 status, you must have a valid (unexpired) F-1 or J-1 visa to return.
- If traveling to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands*, please see the Automatic Visa Revalidation section below.
Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR)
Definition: Your expired U.S. entry visa is considered to be automatically extended to the date of re-entry provided that the visa has not been canceled and that you have not applied for a new visa. To take advantage of AVR, your travel must be to contiguous territories and for less than 30 days. Rules governing AVR are found in the United State's Code of Federal Regulation.
- Includes Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands (Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Lee Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, the other British, French and Netherlands territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea)
- Automatic Visa Revalidation does not apply to F-1 Students from Cuba, Syria, Sudan or Iran
- Travel can be for only 30 days or less
- Not valid for students who travel from a contiguous territory, such as Canada, to a non-contiguous country, such as Germany, and return to the U.S. via the contiguous territory
- If you have changed your status while in the U.S. and hold a visa for the previous status, you may still take advantage of AVR, as long as you bring the supporting documents for your new status. For example, you changed your status from F-1 to H-1B, but still only have an expired F-1 visa; you may still use AVR.
Automatic Visa Revalidation is no longer be available if you apply for a new U.S. entry visa in Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands.
- The Form I-94 is an arrival and departure record that was created by the Port of Entry (such as the airport) where you entered the U.S. via U.S. Customs.
- In order to retrieve your I-94 number, please visit CBP's site.
Travel Signatures for F-1 and J-1 Students (Including Dependents):
- Bring your original, current I-20/DS-2019 to OIS
- Be sure you are registered; including registration for the upcoming fall semester if summer travel is planned
- Signatures are valid for one year from the date signed, as long as the student's status is/has been maintained
- We encourage students to request a new signature each semester